Masters Programs

MA programs are those taken in all fields of human geography. MSc programs are those taken in physical geography, spatial information systems and some areas of environmental studies.

All MA students must complete the Human Geography Core Course (GGR1105H) and all MSc students must complete the Physical Geography Core Course (GGR1200H).

Master’s degree programs usually take one to two calendar years to complete.

Further information can be found in the Graduate Handbook.

Thesis Option

Students enrolled in a Master’s Thesis Option are required to complete the requirements below. 

Coursework: Completion of 3 half-credit courses (or 1.5 FCEs), including:

  • the core course (GGR1105H for MA and GGR1200H for MSc)
  • one half-credit course in geography or from an approved list
  • one half-credit course in any subject
  • students enrolled in a collaborative program should consult the Collaborative Program section for any additional requirements

Research Proposal: Submission of a research proposal to their supervisor by March 1 of their first year. The proposal should be 2500 to 4000 words and include the following:

  • Outline of the topic/research question
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Timeline for completion of research/data collection, writing and final defense of the thesis
  • See Masters Research Proposal Tips from the Feb 2015 workshop

Annual Report: Students who register in a second year and beyond are required to meet with their supervisor by the end of September to review their activities over the summer and set out a timeline for the year. A Masters Annual Report form must be completed at this meeting and submitted to the graduate office. 

Thesis: Students are required to complete a thesis (RST9999Y) which must be presented and defended at a departmental oral examination before a committee of at least two graduate faculty members (one of which must be from geography) in addition to the supervisor(s) (see Scheduling a Masters Thesis MRP Exam for instructions on setting up an exam). Theses typically are approximately 100 pages and represent the result of independent research under the direction of a faculty supervisor. For MSc students, the thesis must be science-based. Once any final revisions or modifications have been made and confirmed in writing by the supervisor(s), the final thesis must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies and to the department. Information on formatting, electronic submission and copyright is available from the SGS website.

Research Paper Option

Students enrolled in a Master’s Major Research Paper Option are required to complete the requirements below.

Coursework: Completion of 6 half-credit courses (or 3.0 FCEs), including:

  • the core course (GGR1105H for MA and GGR1200H for MSc)
  • three half-credit courses in geography or from an approved list
  • one half-credit course which must be taken outside the department
  • one half-credit course in any subject
  • students enrolled in a collaborative program should consult the Collaborative Program section for any additional requirements

Research Proposal: Submission of a research proposal to their supervisor by May 15 of their first year. The proposal should be 2500 to 4000 words and include the following:

  • Outline of the topic/research question
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Timeline for completion of research/data collection, writing and final defense of the major research paper
  • See Masters Research Proposal Tips from the Feb 2015 workshop

Annual Report: Students who register in a second year and beyond are required to meet with their supervisor by the end of September to review their activities over the summer and set out a timeline for the year. A Masters Annual Report form must be completed at this meeting and submitted to the graduate office.

Major Research Paper: Students are requred to to complete a major research paper (GGR1100Y), typically about 40-50 pages, which must be presented and defended at a departmental oral examination before a committee of at least two graduate faculty members (at least one of which must be from geography) in addition to the supervisor(s) (see Scheduling a Masters Thesis MRP Exam for instructions on setting up an exam). For MSc students, the research paper must be science-based. Once any final revisions or modifications have been made and confirmed in writing by the supervisor(s),  an electronic copy of the final research paper must be submitted to the department.  Information on formatting and copyright is available from the SGS website.